Our mission as School Sisters of Notre Dame is to proclaim the good news, directing our entire lives toward that oneness for which Jesus Christ was sent.
The School Sisters of Notre Dame [SSND] were founded in Bavaria in 1833 by Blessed Theresa of Jesus Gerhardinger for the purpose of educating poor girls, based on the conviction that women properly educated would transform families and society. In 1847, Blessed Theresa and five sisters came to the United States in response to a call to teach German
immigrant children. The congregation grew rapidly in the new world. Under the leadership of Mother Caroline Friess, they reached out to all children, establishing a viable parochial school system and staffing orphanages and schools for children with special needs.As members of an international congregation, SSNDs continue to respond to needs in various cultures and geographic areas resulting in a diversity of membership and ministries. They are actively engaged in teaching, adult education, parish administration and ministry, spiritual direction, counseling, peace and justice ministries, prison ministry, literacy efforts, social services and health care. Wherever there are unmet needs, they attempt to share the all-encompassing love of God.
Rooted in the charism of Blessed Theresa, they minister to women, youth and the poor or marginalized. Their contemplative-active lifestyle is a witness to God’s love revealed in Jesus. As apostolic women religious, they are committed to living simply, reverencing all of creation, believing that education can transform persons. Through collaboration and peace-making efforts, they strive to change systems of poverty and injustice throughout the world as they seek to bring all to that oneness for which Jesus Christ was sent.
In 2007, the School Sisters of Notre Dame are a multicultural, international congregation of 3,800 vowed women religious, ministering in 36 countries. In North America, the congregation is divided into six provinces. The St. Louis Province has over 500 members ministering in 20 U. S. states and eight foreign countries.